The 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final will boast a decidedly maroon feel when the Brisbane Broncos take on the North Queensland Cowboys for the game’s top honour at ANZ Stadium next Sunday.
For the first time in NRL history, two teams from Queensland are the last two standing in the competition after two spirited Preliminary Finals clashes in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Last night’s clash between the Cowboys and Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park, saw a determined Cowboys outfit make their intentions clear from the get-go as they pummelled the Storm with wave after wave of constructed attack.
And despite not scoring first, Johnathan Thurston’s men would ultimately leave Melbourne having secured the club’s second ever Grand Final appearance on the back of their 32-12 win. This will be North Queensland’s best opportunity yet to claim a maiden Premiership after playing in their first in 2005.
On Friday night meanwhile, Brisbane became the first team to book their place in the 2015 decider with a 31-12 win over the Sydney Roosters.
In many ways, the game was lost by the Roosters inside the first minute of the game at Suncorp Stadium, as outside back Shaun-Kenny Dowall attempted a risky pass to his teammate on a kick-return with the Broncos clearly bearing down at speed.
The ball was intercepted by Darius Boyd, who streaked 30 metres to open the scoring and shift momentum heavily in the direction of the home-side early.
Despite having Mitchell Pearce return in the halves after a long stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, the playmaker lasted just one half of football for the Chooks before being benched at half-time after aggravating the injury - continuing the Bondi club’s streak of bad luck in the match.
The game would ultimately belong to Grand Final specialists the Broncos, who will now face the Cowboys just weeks after defeating them at Suncorp Stadium by 16-12.
The 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final will take place at ANZ Stadium next Sunday, October 4.